Month: May 2013

New Album Out Today

Posted by – May 28, 2013

“Please Insert Me”, my first full-length, is out today. Please check it out and buy it at my FaceBook page.

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New Album 5.28.13

Posted by – May 16, 2013

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Skyrimmed

Posted by – May 16, 2013

With the addition of Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and Dawnguard DLCs from Bethesda, I figured it was time to get addicted to Skyrim again. But first, I thought, I should check out what new mods are out on Skyrim Nexus. So I went through and added everything I thought I would like, and the game is now everything I wanted it to be when it first came out, it’s a thousand times more fun than it was, and I’m officially addicted again. I’ve been meaning to write this for a week now, but haven’t been able to tear myself away to do so lol.

First of all, as I explained to Eric Presnell? after the game first came out, I personally thought the world of Skyrim was rather empty. You could run everywhere, and maybe encounter a 1 wolf or sabre cat on the way. I wanted more to slaughter. Well, there are several mods that have accomplished just that!
DFB Random Encounters – with this mod you can change the random number of monsters and humans that appear, from bandits to trolls to undead to forsaken to antronochs. You can also set it up to spawn other monsters as well, so they will fight each other and you can join the fray or just sit back and watch. I have it set to choose a multiplier between 1 and 3. You can choose the number appearing for each monster as many as you want, I have a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8 for all creatures listed. This means, for instance, with 8 bandits, it will spawn a random number between 1 and 24 bandits, because of the multiplier. You can also set the timer between how long the encounters appear, and the percentage chance that they appear. I have it set for 21 minutes and a 70% to appear, myself. No longer does Skyrim feel empty, and you can wander into some pretty amazing battles!
Warzones – this adds Warzones to your map, where 2 factions will just be battling it out, such as Bandits vs Stormcloaks, Imperials vs. Wizards, Forsaken vs. Stormcloaks, Stormcloaks vs Imperials, it’s completely random and awesome. You can set the settings to how many you want fighting on a side, and even add a random number of monsters to spawn as well to join the battle. It’s a really cool mod!
Monster Wars – this mod adds more monsters that attack along roadsides. Mixed with DFB Random Encounters, this can really spice up the boring trek to outlaying towns, like the town you go to at the base of the mountain leading to High Hrothgar. It was damn boring running that whole way. Now I got attacked at least 10 times by huge groups of monsters. To help you, the mod adds the Blue Stripes, which are monster hunters that travel in packs and set up a few camps in key places. They will attack all monsters they see, adding to the combat awesomeness!
Fast Respawns and Rich Merchants – this adds more money to all the merchants, and adds faster respawns for vanilla Skyrim. I was sick of selling off 1/6 of my gear just to have them run out of money so I would have to fast travel to 4 towns just to get rid of it all. I added this with Cutthroat Merchants, so now they haven’t run out of money until just recently.
Epic Boss Fights – this adds GIANT monsters across Skyrim. They are probably 2-3 times bigger than a giant, and range anywhere from giant ogres to giant gargoyles. They have insane HPs and damage, and are quite a battle to take down. Unfortunately they have bad hit detection so you mainly have to shoot them with arrows or spells, because swinging a weapon will go right through them. They are all named as well, for instance the giant gargoyle is named Colossus. Pretty fun other than the hit detection bit.
More Bandit Camps – this adds more bandit camps all over Skyrim. They really are a force to be reckoned with now, especially with O.B.I.S. installed.
O.B.I.S. – this is an overhaul for bandits, which makes bandits level with you, so even if you are level 82 you will still find bandits that can one shot you. Some of them are incredibly powerful, for instance there is a bandit camp near Colossus that has a Bandit King who is twice the size of a normal human, wearing dragon bone armor and can shout at you to knock you over. He is incredibly deadly and can usually kill me in 2 hits (I’m level 35ish atm.) This mod makes bandits more deadly and more fun to fight, and, along with DFB Random Encounters, can spawn a ton of really tough badguys at once! It also adds tons of different names and abilities to bandits, so one could be a Master Pickpocket Archer and be really good at archery, etc. I’ve been one-shot sniped by several bandit archers, it really makes the world deadly!
High Level Enemies – this throws in some high level enemies here and there. It would be like the equivalent of adding a Bandit King to an otherwise normal group of gargoyles, for instance. I’m not really sure if it’s working, because I have Unleveled World going, but in theory it should work. I find all kinds of stuff of all levels due to Unleveled World, so there’s really no way to check.
Unleveled World – this makes the world not level to match your level. Thus you can get attacked by a Blood Dragon at level 1, or wander into a camp of Master magic users at level 5, or find anything of any level at any level you are at! This also affects their loot lists, so you could find a high-level bandit with ebony armor, and if you are strong enough (or are able to kite good enough) to take him down, you can get yourself a nice piece of ebony right away instead of waiting for the leveled list to catch up. You’re going to need all the help you can get, because it is just insane deadly. Up until level 30ish I ran away from large encounter groups more than I actually stayed to fight. I’ve been killed probably no less than 1000 times lolol. It just adds to the realism of the world, what’s behind that corner? Will I be slaughtered in 1 hit? Probably =)

Dragons
I have several Dragon mods that I have added. Fighting the vanilla dragons seemed to be wayyyy too easy when the game first came out. They are supposed to be this huge scary force that has come back from the dead to terrify and menace mankind, yet you could pretty much slaughter them in a few hits at level 10. Well maybe more than a few, but still, just seemed way too easy for me. So I added the following:
Dragon Lords – this adds several named dragons that just fly around in a circle in specific spots on the map. They have Insane amounts of HPs and damage, and are a complete deathwish to even consider fighting at lower levels. I’m 37 and I still stay away. Every once in a while you catch their attention and they swoop down. If you don’t immediately start running they’ll obliterate you in one breath weapon.
Deadly Dragons – this allows you to set the settings for the dragons to be much harder. It was an awesome mod, and really made the vanilla dragons harder, especially with Unleveled World, so a Blood Dragon (that’s 5 times harder than any vanilla blood dragon) could swoop down at level 1 and demolish you if you are unlucky. I used this mod until I found this next mod, which overhauls all the dragons.
Enhanced Might Dragons – this makes all dragons named, I play with the Nightmare version so they Start at 10K HPs. It works with other dragon mods, and also adds some Awesome texture redos for the dragons. I still use Deadly Dragons with it, and it recolored a dragon I’ve never seen before – a Revered Dragon – so it doesn’t make them all totally named dragons. But I have seen AI’MUL’GRAH, and he pretty much decimated me lol. I didn’t fight the Revered Dragon, but he had this really crazy Shout he kept doing, I don’t know if that is a part of Deadly Dragons, EMD, or a vanilla dragon, but it was scary so I stayed away. Luckily, all the new spawn points spawn monsters that piss off and divert dragon’s attentions, so I am able to escape if needed (which is usually the case.) I’m level 37 and I have killed only 4 dragons so far – the one at the beginning tower, the one that the Blades lady takes you to kill (where you see Alduin for the first time raising dragons), and 2 regular Dragons that I think I just got really lucky fighting. I just installed EMD, so I haven’t got to play with it too much, but I have seen a couple and the retextures are absolutely brilliant and beautiful. Oh, and now they also smack you with their tail, doing huge amounts of damage, lol!

New Monsters
I played Oblivion to death, and there was one mod that always stood out – Oblivion Monster Mod. Well, they have made a Skyrim Monster Mod now too, and adds tons and tons of new monsters and named monsters to the game. I highly recommend it!
I have also added Skyrim Immersive Creatures, which adds even more monsters. It’s seriously a whole new game now. They both keep pretty tight with the lore, and there’s nothing too ridiculous.
Fire Giants/Frost Giants/Frost Giants In The Cold – these add variations of giants in the game, with their own camps, all across the map. Pretty cool. Some named giants have special weapons they drop, which are kind of too powerful for their own good, but still cool to collect.

Sound
Random Thunder – adds more thunder noises during rainstorms. Really nice and high quality sounds.
Sound Propagation Overhaul – this makes sounds really stand out. Rivers and waterfalls are really loud now, crashing and bustling along. It has sliders for all sound fx so you can level them how you want them. It’s really cool.

SkyUI
This completely changes the inventory screen, loot screens and every other screen like those. It’s absolutely amazing, makes everything easier to read and sort through, and what the damn game should of had to begin with. Magic items have a little lightning bolt next to them to indicate they are magic items, all things have icons, some are colored some are just white, like health potions are red jars, mana potions are blue jars, stamina potions are green jars, and everything else is a white jar, but still helps keep everything separate. You can sort the lists according to weight, cost, damage, armor, type, etc. The magic screen is soooo much easier to navigate. You absolutely cannot play this game without this mod, it’s that essential. Get it now.

Immersive Weapons, Immersive Armors – adds an insane amount of new items to the game, all with their own stats and looks. Things like katanas and scythes and tantos and sooo much more. Really cool, completely balanced and fair so far.
Cloaks of Skyrim – adds cloaks you can equip to yourself and your companions. Many different styles, some can be crafted, some have magic abilities like rings and necklaces, like +30 health or +12% magic resistance.

Achieve That! – adds achievements to the game, pretty fair and balanced, with a wide variety of things to accomplish. Like spend 1 month in Skyrim gives +10 to weight you can carry, but spending 6 months gives you another +30, etc. Like 50 or 60 things to “achieve” in your game, and awards are not overpowered at all.

New Places
Corners of Skyrim – adds several new little places to check out in the far corners of Skyrim. Haven’t really checked them out, but sounds cool.
Northern Encounters – adds 200 new things in the northern most reaches of the game. Always kind of a dead area, I’ve checked out a few things, it kind of seems broken in places, but some things were neat, like an old abandoned town with rotted away buildings on one of the islands. Seems like it needs some work, but not completely broken.
Deus Mons – an Incredible castle for you to acquire, you have to kill a dragon that guards it and get the key off it. I did this in my last game about 8 months ago, and they place is just amazing and huge with so much more stuff and places to put stuff. I’m a loot whore and love filling up cabinets, chests and other containers with things I find. This time around the dragon guarding it is way too hard for me so far, so haven’t been able to get in yet.
Depths of Cavern – A huge dungeon which I haven’t been able to check out yet, but looks really cool, like a dungeon from the old Wizardry games, if you’re old like me lol.

Other Things
Cutthroat Merchants Very Hard – basically the game starts off with all prices being 10x the normal price, and you get roughly 1% of the price the stores sell it for. Finally a reason to up the Speechcraft tree! Doing so gets you better prices, but they still suck hehe. I personally hate games that give you millions of gold and nothing to spend it on. This remedies that nicely. I’m level 37 and I think Achieve That! said I’ve only amassed 50k or so my entire time playing the game last time I checked.
Enhanced Blood – this makes everything more bloody. Creatures will get huge gashes in them when you cut them, pools of blood form on the ground under dead things, blood will splatter your screen, lol just silly and fun.
Green Water Fix – whenever I went under water it was completely green. I couldn’t see a thing. This fixes that. It’s not blurry like it should be, it’s completely clear, but at least I can see under the water now.
Smithing Perks Overhaul/Advanced Crafting/Weapons and Armor Fixes – I guess there was a ton of things wrong with these systems, this balances it out and fixes things, along with adding things that were in the code but never actually implemented in the game.
Apocalypse Spells – adds hundreds of new spells to the games, from really strange to really practical. Some always run and use a bit of mana up permanently until you toggle it off. One I like allows you to cast more summoned creatures, up to 5. Sure that sounds like a cheat but seriously this game is insane hard for me now, they hardly last a few seconds sometimes, plus it all depends on how much mana you have and how fast you can cast them. Another one I like is an Alteration spell that you click and hold, and it very slowly drains your mana, but as long as you hold it and have mana left, it doubles your running speed. Helpful when running away from insanely large groups of monsters lol.
Community Uncapper – This allows you to level all your skills to 1000, effectively erasing the level cap. The skills only get better stats to 199, but you can still level them to 1000 to keep gaining hps/mps/stamina. This is kind of redundant now that Bethesda added the stat reset option, where you can reset your stats that get to level 100, giving you your perk points back and letting you start over with that stat, so you could effectively have unlimited leveling anyways. But it will still be nice to see what stats with a 199 rating are like.
Nude Skins Fat Bottom Edition – I can’t remember if that’s the correct title, but it basically takes the clothes off women (I think there’s one for men too but I don’t have that one hehe) so when you take all their stuff they’re left completely nude. Lol, why? Because titties, that’s why.

Ok, so like I said I am a loot whore, I open the dead person’s/monster’s inventory and press R. I take everything, some I keep, some I sell. I hate encumbrance, never liked it in any game I’ve played. I don’t want to go to town and sell stuff after every single cave, or every 10 minutes I play the game. I acquire a Ton of loot, especially when attacked by 25 bandits, then 15 mages, then 22 forsworn, then 19 druagar, etc. Of course, Cutthroat Merchants completely offsets this, even with this insane amount of loot I gather, I still only have made about 50k in the last 37 levels. So, not wanting to pump all my points into stamina, I press the ~ key and type “player.setav carryweight 5000” which adds 5000 to my max carrying weight. I still have to go around and win battles (really hard battles) and collect everything, and I still eventually go to town, and yes I don’t have to pick through everything to get only the “good stuff” (it’s all good to me), but I usually go to town when I’m at about 4000+ pounds of stuff in my inventory, and I have only made the armor smith in Whiterun run out of money once (the last time I went because my speechcraft has got so high and I’ve pumped a few points into the perkline.)
Bag of Holding – I also use a bag of holding, basically to hold all the magic items I don’t want to sell so I can cull their abilities at an enchanter shrine when I finally get around to doing that. I also have kept all the books I have looted, there’s a nice library in Deus Mons you can fill up. Some other things like soul gems I keep, and all ales/wines/meads etc because I want to fill up my kitchen with a sweet liquor cabinet. The bag of holding sits in your inventory, and, when you click on it, it opens up another inventory that you can trade with, like it was a portable chest or something like that. It has no capacity limit, so you can house stuff there indefinitely. Very cool, but I don’t use it much because I set my carryweight to 5000.
Unlimited Rings and Necklaces – this lets you equip more rings and necklaces, as many as you want. I try not to abuse it, if I get one ring that ups two-handed attacks by 20% and then get another ring that ups it 25%, I’ll sell the lower ring and use the new one. Technically it is a cheat, but I keep only 1 of each thing that can be increased by magical items (stamina, hps, mana, mana regen, health regen, magic resistance, etc.) Also, I play on expert (thinking of upping to master soon), and when you’re walking along and all of a sudden 25 master mages attack you, you need all the help you can get.
Upgraded Weapons and Armor – this allows people and monsters to have upgraded items, like instead of just an Iron Sword you could loo an Iron Sword (Fine) off of them. Pretty neat.
Ultimate Follower Overhaul – this allows you to have more than one follower, allows you to see their stats, allows you to tell them to level up if they’re not doing so, and basically makes everything better. I started with Sven and now have added Lydia, Janessa, and Nanna (which I think was added by a mod, not sure which one.) They really save my ass in the huge battles that ensue, either by drawing attention or just plain crowd control. They still get their own asses kicked fairly quickly, and kneel down and weep for a bit while everything comes after me lolol. I have set them to essential because I have a nasty habit of killing them while they’re in the way weeping. Got sick of reloading my quicksaves, so now they’re essential. I may post them in Deus Mons eventually when I get better and am able to solo more. Right now they are essential to me living for longer than 3 seconds rofl!
Unofficial Patches – One for the normal game and each of the DLCs, these fix all the bugs Bethesda doesn’t bother to in their millions of updates they release every 5 minutes.

And so I come to the very last mod I have. I installed it only a couple days ago, but I must say it is by far the most excellent mod I have ever seen in both Oblivion and Skyrim. It’s one of those mods that makes you say, “WTF?! Why didn’t they put this in the actual game!?” It is just so much fun, so cool, so well-made, and I highly recommend it!
It’s called Tundra Defense, and it allows you to build your own mofoin fort city, anywhere you want in the game! You start off with a well, you place that where you want. You can rotate right or left, or move it closer or farther. You can also tilt it on it’s Y or X axis if you want. You move it to where you want, then press and hold E, and it places it. If you don’t like where it is, you can go into sneak mode and press E, and it will ask you if you want to move it. Once you have placed it, you place 4 markers, indicating the boundaries of the fort. You should place them one as far west as you can, one as far east, then south and then north. It flashes green while it’s in an acceptable area to place, red when it’s too far (or close.) Once you place the markers you get your own little house to place, same as the well. You can place it anywhere within the boundaries. Then you get a guardhouse, where you can pay money to hire guards to patrol your city. Then you get a small market stand with a guy who will sell you more upgrades to buy and place (again Cutthroat Merchants makes this expensive.) Then you get a bigger store where you can place stuff in a chest and it will be eventually sold for you. Then you get an Inn where you can drink n stuff. You can place walls around the perimeter to keep monsters out, place guard towers and connect scaffolding with plank walkways so you could literally have it go as high up as you wanted with all kinds of walkways everywhere. Then you get a mine where you can hire miners to mine stuff, which adds to your taxes you receive and sometimes gives you random ores. People move into the town, and pay more taxes. You can build a farm that produces vegetables. You get your own blacksmith forge and the other things that go along with it. You get big stone or wooden lookout posts that keeps track of all the guards you have. You can upgrade your guards, get magic using guards, even get a dragon on a perch that helps defend your city. Why do you need guards? Because the mod randomly throws raiding parties that attack your town, from bandits to vampires to giants. You can even start your own raids if you wanted to, choosing what you want to raid you, their difficulty level, and even set a handicap that adds more or takes away to the members of their party. I added 20 cultists to a hard cultist raid, so many showed up my framerate dipped to 1 fps and kept CTD’ing the game. I had to run away from the area and slowly sneak back in and pull away a few at a time to kill, otherwise CTD. It was absolutely nuts. Want 8 dragons to attack you? Yah you can do that.
Like I said I just got the mod a couple days ago, but it’s absolutely astounding how much fun it is to build your own city. I have spent the entire last two days just playing with that mod. I set up my city right next to 3 huge spawn points, 2 bandit camps (including the one with the Bandit King), a camp of fire giants including a really big one named Ashfist, 2 haunted monasteries (not sure what mod they are a part of, haven’t gone in them yet), and a Warzone spot. Needless to say, I’ve been fighting Huge groups of monsters more than actually building stuff, but my city is starting to come along nicely. I highly recommend this mod, it is exceptionally well-done, easy to use with limitless possibilities, and really, really fun!!!

Anyways, I haven’t even got a chance to check out the DLC content Bethesda has released yet, but I will eventually. Goddamn I love me some Skyrim!